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WSP 298 — Visual Storytelling: Creating a Narrative Through Photography

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Sat/Sun
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 4 days
Date(s): Jul 15—Jul 23
Time: See below
Drop Deadline: Jul 15
Units: 2
Tuition: $560
Instructor(s): Randy Olson
Limit: 20
Status: Closed
Please Note: Full schedule: Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and July 16, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and July 23, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
On-campus course
See below
Jul 15—Jul 23
4 days
Drop By
Jul 15
2 Units
Randy Olson
Please Note: Full schedule: Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and July 16, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and July 23, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Visual storytelling is the art of graphically telling a story through images, and is at the foundation of the National Geographic pictorial style of journalism. This workshop will cover the elements of visual storytelling and how to create engaging narratives through images. By looking at how a National Geographic story is put together from inception to publication, students will learn the basic tools to translate stories and ideas into compelling images that create dynamic visual narratives. Those tools can later be used to cover personal projects, community stories, events, and more.

The first weekend will cover the key elements of visual language—color, geometry, light, and serendipity, as well as the use of images and text on social media. We will practice the concepts learned in class during an outing in downtown Palo Alto. The second weekend will focus on how to tell stories with pictures and how to create compelling narratives. The final class meeting will include another outing and a review of student images. By the end of the course, students will have the skills to create their own visual story—whether through posting a series of photos on Instagram, creating a web image gallery, or designing a photographic spread fit for a magazine.

This course is aimed at intermediate- and advanced-level photographers looking to improve and refine their ability to document stories. Although beginning photographers are welcome, they must have a firm grasp on the fundamentals of camerawork and photography to benefit from this course.

The course includes at least one field trip to a local destination. Field trip transportation will be the responsibility of the student.

This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade.

Randy Olson, Documentary Photographer

Randy Olson has been working for National Geographic magazine for more than twenty years. His work has also been published in Life, GEO, and Smithsonian magazines. He is the founder and general manager of The Photo Society, a nonprofit organization for photographers contributing to National Geographic.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.